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Exclusive Audio: Prof and drag queen discuss ‘gender-affirming care’ and drag for kids at university event


An event co-hosted by Georgia Southern University (GSU) featured a panel on gender identity, legislation banning drag shows and gender-affirming healthcare, and introducing children to drag.

GSU’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department co-hosted “The Politics of Drag” with Boro Pride, a non-profit that “advocate[s] for the visibility, inclusion, celebration, equality, and safety of LGBTQIAP+ people.” Boro Pride announced the Apr. 12 event in an Instagram post describing the panel as a way to address “anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.”

[RELATED: University of Arizona prof performs drag for kids]

Campus Reform obtained exclusive audio of the discussion featuring panelists Dr. Stacy Smallwood, a public health professor at GSU, and performer Tiffany DuBois.

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Smallwood says that “many people want to think [of] gender” as “absolute,” but “it’s a spectrum, and there’s room for so many different performances of it, representations of it.”

Smallwood later describes how drag performances differ from movies in which characters dress in drag, such as Big Momma’s House. “This is–it’s a political issue,” he says. “It’s a hot potato that folks can throw out there to scare people to think, ‘Oh, well, you’re [going to], you’re trying to indoctrinate my children into thinking differently about how they might be.’”

When Smallwood and DuBois discuss legislation, they explain that there is a conflation of identifying as transgender and performing drag. Smallwood criticizes Tennessee, where Gov. Bill Lee recently signed bills banning medical procedures on minors that facilitate gender transition and prohibiting drag performances “on public property” or places accessible to minors.

“We know who they [trans children] are,” Smallwood says. “There’s legislation to prevent them from being able to access the care that will allow them to be who they are.”

[RELATED: Students instructed to proclaim to be the ‘product of a heterosexist and transphobic culture’ in LGBT ‘Safe Zone’ training]

Towards the end of the event, panelists answered questions. One question was about about the appropriate age for introducing children to drag. “I think that’s completely up to the parent,” DuBois responds.

“There are performances that aren’t for children,” he continues. “Generally, anything that is done with a Pride function” and “brunch” are “supposed to be family-friendly shows.”

DuBois argues that “children should be children as long as they possibly can be.”

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly.

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Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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